Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by momofthehouse, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2014
    Seabeck, wa
    We move in the next couple of months and there is a coop on our property (5 acres) already and it has two chickens however I want 6-8 layers and meat birds. Everyone keeps saying just to build a coop but we wont have time with the move and trying to get that part of our house situated. I am wondering if there is anyone that has built a coop in Western WA and could post pics. We have a range of weather conditions and I also know that the coons like the chickens where we will be living. I am going to have them free range most of the time but if they had to be locked while I am away for an extended period I want to know they are comfortable but also safe. I have researched some and I know easy DIYs for water dispenser, food dispenser but that is all so far. So if there happens to be no one that builds them is there a good kit that will be comfortable for this amount or a not too expensive way to build one that maybe my hubby can do in a day or weekend? If I can tell him a price savings of making versus buying he might build it ha!

    I will eventually lay own fertile eggs and raise chicks etc. if that matters on the type of coop (I dont think it does since I have to keep them warmer before putting them into the coop)

    Specifications: (there might be more but this is what I know right now that is good to have)

    * Extract eggs from outside of coop
    * Poop tray that I can easily remove from outside and clean
    * Flooring (I dont mind laying stuff down and cleaning it but heard lenoleum with sand works good? (Like scooping poop out of a litter box)
    * I don't want to move the coop.
    * Size doesn't matter just want it big enough to house up to 10 chickens.
    * Divider so I can split up layers versus meats? Not sure if this is needed? maybe someone can enlighten me? I figured I would get enough where some will lay and the not so good layers I will just slaughter. (Still researching breeds)
    * Yes cute would be fun :)
    * Able to walk in it but not a necessity I have small kids that can help :)
    * Be able to withstand our weather from 100 degree down to teens and snowing. I wont be able to run electricity to it at this time.

    So hit me up with suggestions, any other specs I might want etc.

    Thanks in advance and feel free to message me as well. :) I am open to feedback and thanks for reading my novel!

    [email protected]
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m going to give you some homework. First, this is a recent thread about purchased coops. Maybe I can get you off that idea this easily.

    Now, some stuff I think should be required reading for anyone building a coop and run.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

    In your climate especially ventilation will be important. The teens is not that cold to a chicken wearing a permanent down coat as long as it is out of a direct breeze. In the winter just have the ventilation over their heads when they are roosting. In summer, you can’t have too much ventilation.

    Wet is probably going to be your enemy more than anything else. Position the coop and run where water drains away from it, not in a low spot that will stay wet.

    Next. Look in my signature and follow that link. That handles the space question. Size does matter.

    I think that is all the homework.

    An easy way to get a good coop fairly fast is to get a building form Lowe’s or Home Depot and modify that. Some of that is covered in that first thread.

    I really like a walk-in coop. I’ve found a possum, a dead chicken, and snakes inside. I think it is good to go in and check things out.

    You are right to think about poop management. There are a tremendous number of different things we do as far as the poop. I prefer a droppings board instead, but again there are a lot of different ways to use those. You can do a search on here for droppings boards or start a thread on that topic by itself.

    I don’t raise meaties myself, just use my dual purpose for meat. The meaties poop a whole lot and you will butcher them by 8 weeks or so. I’d suggest a totally different building for them or section off a part of your coop for them. Either way can work. Again, maybe go to the meat bird section and read up or start a separate thread there.

    My brooder is in the coop, right under the roosts. The top is my droppings board. If you can run electricity to it, you don’t need the chicks in the house at all.

    Good luck with it and welcome.
    3 people like this.
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    I second Ridgerunner's suggestions. [​IMG] Another one might be to go to craigslist and look
    for a shed you can buy new or used. Then just adjust to your needs.Really, you want
    a walk-in coop and run. Nothing worse then crawling thru mid and poop to retrieve a bird.
    Yuck! [​IMG] Check your area to see what varmints you have If weasels, or minks, [​IMG] surf
    "weasel-proof poultry yards" for suggestions.

    lotsa sheds and choices!!!!
    couldn't resist :
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We purchased a shed kit from our local home improvement store and had it put together in one day. -modified it for ventilation and added some extras (nest boxes, hardware cloth, etc.). -absolutely love having a walk-in coop! -makes things so much easier, IMO.
    1 person likes this.
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    My solutions have been to have a wire run - we are more threatened by heat here - and safely inside the run I have a shelter for the chickens. The run (as big as you can make it) protects the chickens from predators like racoons, and I have a kit coop inside that. It probably would take more than a day - unless you found a chain-link dog kennel on Craigslist - and put a roof on it. Hoop coop is also strong and contains chickens. I think since laying hens and meat birds are different, and need different feed - my approach would be to have two separate environments. Meat birds generally aren't around for more than a couple months before they are ready to process, layers aren't even ready for eggs until they are 4 to 6 months old or so.

    Here are some links/photos:
    cattle panels, covered in Hardware cloth - Kit coop inside, can be put up on legs, built with 2x4's - this example has tarp to give shade and protect from rain - 2 cattle panels approx 16'x4' - If you don't intend to drag it around you would be good with 3 rather than 2 cattle panels...
    Inside view
    building 'legs' for the actual coop:
    Placed on legs with the ramp.

    SnapLock coop - small size about $450 holds 4-5 hens if they are small to medium sized like - golden comet, cream legbar, easter egger, or large size has three roosting bars - each can hold 4-hens, and small has 3 nesting boxes, large has 6 nesting boxes. Large is $650- and literally does snap and lock into place. Racoons tried to get into one one night before I had run around it and didn't succeed, (latches must be firmly sealed though) - Plastic gives fewer places for red mites to live and needn't be painted, is insulated and light weight to move around Has poop trays.

    BTW If you use PDZ on poop trays it is like kitty litter and lighter than sand...clumps the poop and absorbs moisture - check out the first several posts of this thread for explanation:

    chain link dog kennel - 10-feet wide by 20-feet long divided in center, has access door in center divider - bought 3rd hand for low cost -
    This - as all runs would probably need roofing or tarps to protect from rain, and would need skirting and hardware cloth cladding. Inside is lots of room.

    I'm sure that there are as many coop preferences as there are people, but if you are in an area with a lot of predators and hawks, you really need a safe run for your chickens - JMO -

    Congrats on your move and getting chickens - you will enjoy it so much!!
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2014
    Seabeck, wa
    Thank you everyone. My husband is now saying he will build one but I have to do all the research oy! Figured out the roost, poop boards and read some about ventilation. Ventilation seems to be the hardest one to know if you have enough or not. I love the dog kennel run idea too. Thanks!
  7. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2014
    Seabeck, wa
    How many chickens do you keep in this coop. They seem small even the larger one??
  8. bluefrog87

    bluefrog87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2013
    Dallas, Tx
    Best bet is converted shed and dog run. You can find the scratch and dent sheds for around 200 bucks

    Yea, buying a coop sounds easy but to find a good one it's like the work of buying a car. If you don't do the work, you definitely regret it. It is possible to do it and get away decently. I recently bought a coop due to a neck/spine injury that limits my skills. This is painful because I can build. However, it took me 5 months to find a decent coop at a decent price with a decent shipping cost. Also, that was with the help of this forum and it still took a while.

    Unless you are rich and famous, it's a lot of work.

    Ventilation isn't too bad. It's adding a bunch of vents at the top and adding windows. Especially with a shed.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  9. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    I am in a similar situation, except we move in three weeks and there is only a shed for my husband on the property. And my mini coop of course(good enough to let them grow out safely) but I will get a 8x12 shed kit from Lowes and 200ft of horse fencing . I can build it in a weekend with my husband and kids helping. My meaties will get a hoop coop and the goats will get a calf hutch
  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you are talking about the snapLock coops - it partly depends on your chickens. Mine are outdoors except when laying, and roosting at night. To roost at night, they only need space on the roost. In the small size, I have right now 4-hens and a rooster. Probably not optimum but it is particularly cold - so they can help keep each other warm, and I have fairly small 'standard sized' chickens. My hens weigh about 4-pounds and my rooster weighs a bit over 5 at the last weighing. There is one roosting bar and they all fit on - and they have three nest boxes, of which they all lay in the one farthest from the door - only 3 of the four have picked up laying this year.

    The larger one - has 3-roosting poles the same size as the one roosting pole in the small coop. If you live where the weather is bad, or if your chickens are indoor chickens, then it would be too small for them to live in. Mine used to free-range and then I would close and latch the door at night -- Now they have the cattle panel "run" and when I have to be gone, I just keep them locked in there - so I know they are safe, I have had a LOT of racoons kill a lot of my chickens and chicks...sadly, and I have hawks, snakes, - you name it - they are here. Oh now, since they are safe inside the wire I don't open and close the coop door - just let them come and go in and out as they wish ---- easier on the chicken owner....

    Here's a link to snapLock's website - they cost a lot - but they can be assembled in a VERY short time, I know for a fact racoon cannot get in if it is properly latched at night - and racoons are wicked I am very happy with them, and probably would get more if I expanded to more breeding pairs or trios to keep them all separated.

    ETA - snap lock gives you plans to build the 'legs' with the correct sizes to cut the 2x4's and the legs fit both the large and the small coop cool is that?ETA- earlier I had said that the large size has 6-nest boxes, but looking at the picts, I see that it is 4 - which is a LOT of nest boxes... That large coop is at a different ranch than this - so I didn't check it - I was just going from memory. :O)

    Snaplocks are only 40-60 pounds so I can easily move around by my self if I need to, and they meet my criteria for safety, low maint, easy to clean, and I can build and relocate with no one helping me. :O) HTH
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

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